The Canadian edition titled: THEY LOVE YOU, THEY LOVE ME NOT, the truth about the family favourite and sibling rivalry was released in hardcover by HarperCollins in 1995. The US edition was published by Barricade Books, NY. in 1999, and the title was abridged to: SIBLING RIVALRY, the truth about the family favorite. In 2000 it was translated to Portuguese and published by Editoriales Paulinas, a catholic press in Brazil. (My understanding is that the reason the book was chosen for publication by this press is that the philosophy advocated by the book, which promotes the view that when a child misbehaves, the emphasis should be on bringing the child into the fold, rather than resorting to isolation, punishment or humiliation, and that this perspective coincides with Christian values.)
The book is dedicated to my father, Daniel Rabie, who was my Prime Love Giver, to my two daughters who were my inspiration, and to my mother, Hanina Rabie who continues to fill my life.
Following is an excerpt from the American edition that explains the concept of parental roles:
“To fully understand the deeper implications of sibling rivalry, we must begin by explaining two concepts: first, Family Theory (DOLF), and second, Favoritism on the part of parents toward their children. The theory is based on an easily understood but little talked about premise: that parents are not created equal, and do not function in the same way. When raising children, parents automatically divide and assume one of two roles. These roles complement each other, but are definitely separate. Every family is composed of a more loving parent and a (comparatively) less loving parent and while the degree of difference between the two may vary widely, this division of love’s labor will inevitably exist. I call the more loving parent the Prime Love-Giver (PLG) and the less loving parent the Additional Love-Giver (ALG). No value judgment is attached to these identities. It’s not necessarily better to be the Prime Love-Giver than an Additional Love-Giver. Both parents contribute in crucial ways to family life, and neither should automatically be considered superior to the other.
Favoritism means that parents “favor” or prefer one or some of their children over others. Even though the very mention of the word makes most parents cringe, the following chapters will explain in full why it is a central concept that accompanies sibling rivalry wherever it goes. The two are inextricably connected, and we cannot take account of one without the other. “
In the book, the concepts are expanded and explained in a form that is amenable to common consumption. However the book was rewritten by a ghost writer whose main task was to more fully express the ideas in a form that could be easily understood by the lay public. So, while the thoughts, ideas and concepts of DOLF theory are in part the product of an academic style of analysis, and reflect a well-thought-out level of intellectual depth into the human psyche, at the same time they run parallel to real life, and as such, refer to everyday common experiences.
The author found out early on that the DOLF formula applies to every human being. There is no family or person who does not fit into the framework of the theory, and nobody can claim they are immune to the dynamics it describes. The remaining task for the reader is to incorporate the DOLF formula into their thinking, and apply it to all the people and situations around them, especially those closest to them whose situations are best known to them.